Northwest Territories wants Arctic ports as sea ice recedes | Power & Politics

Northwest Territories wants Arctic ports as sea ice recedes | Power & Politics

the premier of Northwest Territories is in Toronto this week making a pitch for investment in his region he points to the effects of climate change ice is melting shipping lanes are opening up the premier says now is the time for Canada to build a significant presence in the Arctic before other countries skate to they stake their claims so what would an increased presence look like Bob McLeod is the premier of the Northwest Territories and he joins us from Toronto premier you've said that Canada is complacent about establishing a serious presence in the Arctic compared to countries like Russia and China what do you mean by that well I talked about the changing geopolitics in the Arctic the fact that weather with a climate change affecting the ice and other changing conditions in the Arctic the fact that Russia for example is going full force and developing their northern sea route they have 20 icebreakers and at least seven ports and the Arctic China has an Arctic policy they're building a nuclear icebreaker and they are very interested in the Arctic similarly the United States as an ounce and that they are building an icebreaker that and they made statements at a recent article console meeting where they question whether the Northwest Passage is internal waters for Canada and theirs they stated that it should be the international waters so we are wondering whether Canada has done enough to make sure that we can maintain our Arctic sovereignty and this important part of Canada so what are what fear or concern do you have if Canada can't keep up with those countries well I mean there's been a number of countries that have submitted claims to the Arctic through the United Nations law of the sea process and we've always said that the best way to maintain Arctic sovereignty is to have people live there that we live in the Arctic and to have strong healthy communities is the best way to show artic sovereignty and our economy has been having a tough time we need to find ways to continue to create jobs and business opportunities and we see an opportunity now with the fact that the ice is melting the surface there's less surface ice the Northwest Passage is open for much longer periods of time and then we see an opportunity to to transform our economy so that we have an international center for air and marine transportation and you know we have a lot of ideas but how to do that including creating an economic free zone and and the Northwest Territories and other parts of the article so if I understand correctly your argument here is if the the the northern economy isn't developed that Arctic sovereignty is at risk here is that sort of the argument you're trying to make here well and we're using that premise for further development and for strategic investments in both infrastructure and other opportunities to develop our economy over a 10-year period so what what do you want to see is there something specific you want to see from the federal government oh hey I have a very long list of things that we want starting off with you know I'd like to see at least three ice breakers at least three ports I'd like to see a much increased military presence in the north we want a northern immigration policy so that we can you know with the Northwest Territories is the only jurisdiction in Canada whose population has been declining for the past ten years or so and so we'd like to see a northern immigration policy we want to develop a university pala technique for laid for the north we think that we should significantly increase the research capacity and end the Arctic we could either have a floating research center on a icebreaker or we could build more research centers so that we could become centers of excellence and climate change research in permafrost already cartography Arctic mining Arctic transportation and and building systems and we also want to see development of a civil servant or Southern exchange where more people from the south can can come and experience the north for themselves because climate change is already in the Arctic and our emissions are insignificant and we see this largely as a problem caused by southern Canadians and other international countries countries one of the things you mentioned in that list that you'd like from the federal government is that you want to see a bigger military presence in the Northwest Territory starting with a base with about 5,000 people why do you need that well I think the fact that the superpowers like Russia and China are very interested in the Arctic similarly the United States has said it should be international waters I think that with the the military I think is perfectly suited to operate in the Arctic they've shown they can operate on a year-round basis and I think that was a necessary equipment that they would it would be beneficial for all of us so you also mentioned climate change and you know acknowledge that the Northwest Passage is open for longer periods and you want to you know spur development in your in your region but with that climate change you know with those plans that you want to develop more and you want to build and grow the economy and and and grow in other ways does more need to be done to acknowledge what's going on in terms of climate change in your plan well certainly I think we're doing our part I think Southern Canada should be doing a lot more and because the fact that even if we meet the pairs time to change targets I don't think it's going to do very much to reverse the impacts of it already so I think that that's why we're saying we know we need to do a much better job educating people in the south on what is happening how climate change affects us on a daily basis and in the north and in the Arctic which most southern Canadians don't see it on an on a daily basis like we do if there's one image you want Canadians who live in the southern part of the country to sort of think of when it comes to climate change that you experience on a daily basis what would that image be paint us a picture well I mean there's there's lots I guess the the best picture would be the fact that you know we live on top of permafrost both continuous and discontinuous permafrost and we see it melting every day so like we depend in Yellowknife where I live we depend on hydroelectricity and two years ago for two years the reservoirs didn't replenish themselves at all so we had to fire up all of the electrical or diesel generators to to generate power for to heat our houses and to power our houses and also it's really impacting on on wildlife and you know we're seeing water warming up and species of fish are being affected we're seeing animals that are moving north that are not we'd never seen before such as Cougars white-tailed deer we're seeing the treeline moving further north that Beaufort Sea is to be ice-free five weeks a year now it's ice-free at least 20 weeks a year resulting in larger storms and a lot more coastal erosion it's affecting our caribou populations which we're seeing herds declining significantly likely Bathurst caribou herd sign from used to be about 800,000 20 years ago now they're around six to eight thousand you know so it's affecting us significantly premier I want to thank you very much for your time today thank you very much Katie that is the premier of Northwest Territories but McLeod hi I'm Vasu Capello's host of power and politics see more of our show by subscribing to the CBC news channel or click the link for another video thanks for watching

28 thoughts on “Northwest Territories wants Arctic ports as sea ice recedes | Power & Politics

  1. Canada already has 30 ice breakers so why would you need more? The United states only has 2. And funny how he doesnt mention the United states as s super power but they name China and russia. Russia? Wow this guy is obviously mentally I'll. Why would you pay this guy to come on your show. He doesnt know anything about geopolitics and if he does hes a traiter.

  2. If Donald Trump wasn't the US President, we would be much better off cuz he is just a climate change skeptic.

  3. Russia and China? white house claimed northwest passage is public water, does white house belong to Russia or China?

  4. Ice melting, unheard temperatures in the arctic zone, the end is nigh- wait …where I heard this before? oh it happened also in 1922 after that it cooled off again.

  5. China is building a nuclear icebreaker..for what..South China sea??
    Russia wants to control the Northern Passage ways as a deterrence to the US submarines that hide in the arctic! Their biggest fear by far! Also to control more real estate…haven’t you noticed? Have you seen the latest news on Russia’s arctic moves??

  6. Sea ice melts every year you fools, invest in every deep water port possible regardless of conditions. How will they exploit the tender arctic without them?

  7. It's pathetic how little Canada has done to assert it's arctic sovereignty… This is going to be another Avro Aero incident where the United States steers Canada's government away from what's important to have more control/power!

  8. Yo, Canada: Russia will knock you on your keister, hands down. Go ahead and taunt the Russian bear with your boyz in the Ukraine and the Baltic States.

  9. Trudeau is a useless child who has no vision, no foresight, no plan for Canada's growth at all. We need an adult leading us like this fine man or a woman like JWR.

  10. With what money? We don't have the population like China to support multiple large project while buying new fleets of naval ships and fighters in a small amount of time. We need to increase population FAST but guys like Maxime Bernier want to reduce immigration, there is a disturbing disconnection to reality in the minds of the conservatives.

  11. Iranian super Cargo-Ship just sunk ⚓️  in Caspian Sea , it blown right up💥 it must of hit an old WW2 Mine

  12. Canadian government Official term now is Climate emergency not Climate change! Come on.. It is concerning that all the ice are melting. Whole world going to collasp, seriously UN should do something meaningful and not try to make profit from Climate calamity.. People come together do something for your beloved children at least!!

  13. We should be building a few Naval and Air bases as well. Russia is after the Arctic, China is after the Arctic and the Americans are after the Arctic. Our brave gallant American allies have always acknowledged and supported Canadian Arctic sovereignty, until till now. My fellow Canadians, we are on our own here. We are literally between a rock and a hard place. The time may soon come that we are going to have to fight if we want to remain an independent sovereign nation, we are going to have to fight to remain Canadian!🇨🇦🇨🇦🇨🇦🇨🇦🇨🇦🇨🇦

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